Kids Say the Darndest Things

First I’d like to give mention to Art Linkletter the originator of a 1960s tv segment called “Kids Say the Darndest Things”; I know a lot of the baby boomers will remember this so I’m just giving credit where credit is due.All the stories on my blog are the honest-to-goodness truth as I remember it. Some of the names have been changed to protect my innocence. So here we go.

My son was a white-blonde haired little guy with striking blue eyes.He was also a comedian as early as two years of age.He did, however, also have a sincerity about him that both melted my heart and sometimes made it ache especially when someone or something appeared to betray him.

His father, Tim adored his two children and Thomas, our second was a source of great entertainment.We lived in Minneapolis and if you are familiar with Minnesota winters you know cases of cabin fever run rampant especially in January.It was on one of these frigid January days I encouraged Tim to take 2 1/2 year-old Thomas to the mall or Target; pretty much anywhere he could burn off some energy and not suffer frostbite.

Meghan, my daughter, (also entertaining) and I stayed home.After an hour or so, Tim and Thomas came back from the mall and Tim had a smirk on his face and was obviously experiencing some urgency in sharing a bit about their trip but not in front of our little guy.

When the coast was clear, Tim and I sat down at our kitchen booth and he hadn’t said the first word before cracking up. “What?What?” I asked.Now I was dying to know.It had been a pretty boring day.

Finally, Tim told me what happened at the mall that day.Apparently while walking hand-in-hand with his daddy Thomas saw a very striking woman walk by.With all sincerity,he pulled on his daddy’s pant leg and asked “Don’t you wish THAT was our mommy?”

I was equally amused. Honest.

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Oh geez Mary!

Now you want to take the fun outta Christmas. Seriously? Most of us already have what we NEED. What we do not need are cheap bath & body gift packs. I have no idea where these weird manufacturers come from. I only see these brands at Christmas and I never see them during the rest of the year; maybe at the Dollar Store or Big Lots of Junk.When I get one I feel obligated to keep it until the dust is so thick on the box I can no longer identify it and the the scent fades which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Who really wants those mammoth glittery eye shadow kits? Did you know eye shadow is made from Mica which is the same thing used in cement and insulation? I digress.

This week I noticed tables of boxed handkerchiefs in the men’s section at Kohl’s .  They still sell ’em but who uses them? I’m sorry (sort of) but I remember getting four adorable Pokey Little Puppy handkerchiefs in a cute box with a sweet ribbon for Christmas (probably from a very well-meaning Auntie) that eventually ended up scrunched up and well, pretty yucky. Kleenex makes a lotion infused tissue that’s easy on the nose and you can toss. I can hear the arguments supporting the environmental friendliness of hankies. I get that people with allergies can’t carry a Kleenex box with them at all times. If you do know that person why on earth would you give them a snot rag for Christmas especially when there are wallets, socks and shoe horns available for the special guy in your life?

Consumerism is a social disease! We are destroying out planet by purchasing disposable  presents like that novelty plastic fish that sings. I still have that a hip grooving Santa that I refuse to buy batteries for.  Spare me the huge plastic guitar full of stale popcorn. I don’t have a big need for  baskets with cheese, sausages and crackers so well preserved we can re-gift them next year? I really don’t want anything supposedly edible that has a shelf-life longer than my own. I’m suspect of any food gift that boasts “No artifecal ingredients; in fact, please skip giving me anything in a basket; I’m pretty happy with the collection of wicker baskets I’ll never use.

Don’t spend your money on anything from Chia or anything from the “As Seen on TV section.”for that matter. Finally, about that mini cast iron Christmas tree with a chocolate chip cookie mix I got last year; thank you very much (and you know who you are) I’m trying to figure out how to reuse it. I could sit by the oven for 30 hours making 3 dozen cookies one at a time. That’s probably not a good plan since I burned the single damn cookie last year and all I had to do was add water to the mix  and throw it in the oven.

If we can’t think of something useful or biodegradable we probably shouldn’t buy it and moreover you wouldn’t want it either. I’ll used to say I’d take anything from Trader Joe’s but my relationship with Joe is over and this is why  I confess that I do have one exception. The Speculoos cookie butter.  It’s a fattening sugary jar of empty calories but it’s heavenly.

A few decades ago, someone shared the ideal Christmas gift exchange. Tell your friends and family there will be no presents this year. Tell them to bring $100 to the party. Everyone pulls out that Benjamin Franklin and passes it on; saying Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Hope you can use this! After this exchange, everyone ends up with a valuable gift and no one feels guilty about leaving a footprint as big as that obnoxious blow up Santa Claus in the neighbor’s front yard. (Sorry!)

“Bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss, tell them a joke, but for God’s sake stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care. All it shows is that you don’t” George Monbiot

I did buy myself a present. I ordered some beautiful earrings on Amazon, but  did they have  to come in a huge cardboard box from with an exaggerated amount of brown paper? I almost threw them out.

I’m sad I don’t feel the magic of Christmas anymore. It seems stranger and stranger to me each year. Reindeer will soon be usurped by drones. It’ll make more sense to Face time Santa than stand in line at the mall.

I do wish you and yours a memorable time together with great food and conversations.

Happy Holidaze!

P.S. We always like a good Malbec or Merlot so feel free to pick up one but please skip the embellished wine bag.



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Looking for Helpers in the Trump Dump

I never thought Trump would become POTUS. I never expected that the 45th president would be someone I thought about
My contention isn’t because my ideals are categorized as “liberal;” in fact, I would be happy if the Commander in Chief had surprised me and actually turned out to be the definition of a good leader (even a lukewarm one) working as he should, for us.He’s not. It’s all about him. Feeding the narcissist we are.
My point is that Trump’s election happened because so many people got comfy and had no idea the shit storm that was going to be upon us due to our complacency. It happened. That reality show guy is in the oval office. He tweets. He lies. Again, he LIES. This means I compare him to past and present dictators with cause. It’s not just because he’s a Republican and I’m a Libtard or whatever term I should answer to.
It’s one thing to resist being PC but another to encourage racist and misogynistic behavior. Calling a woman “horseface?” publicly? Is that what “shooting from the hip” means to a percentage of his supporters? A breath of fresh air? IMO Trump opened up the doors of musty closets full of racists and bigots; this is really dangerous; that DOES NOT mean I think everyone of his supporters falls into that category. I simply do not understand the blind eye. The loyalty to a blatant liar. To a narcissist puffing himself up at every opportunity which is anytime he’s talking.
America was NEVER great for Indigenous people ,most women and/or brown and black persons. In some cases it has never been great for non Christians. This great America 45 refers to was tailored to white middle-class men. I don’t have anything against white middle class men. I love one! He is not however satisfied with a culture that continues to foster a vision of greatness based on WMM.
The fact that Trump has pointed out “the Blacks” love him and has made of point of letting us know there are black people who support him should speak volumes to us. Why is it necessary? 
Millions of us are weary of the anxiety, depression and hopelessness. People catching a ride on the Trump Blimp are doing themselves no favors by sustaining themselves on hate and fear mongering.
I guess I’m basically saying I am not energized by this divisiveness. I really believe the majority of us really don’t want to be embroiled in this schism. Why are we so damn angry?
It’s a pretty significant symptom and it is natural to want to scapegoat someone or some group. To think that if we eradicate those offenders everything will be “great again?”
Statistics and stories spun from a desire to be worshiped are like houses built on sand. I stand with my comparison to dictatorship when it comes to President (ugh) Trump. He has all but defined the “others” who are out to get us and take our jobs and money. Are we that afraid? Do we truly believe refugees fleeing violence are truly dangerous to our economy and safety? That terrorists are planting themselves in a “caravan” in order to slip unnoticed into our country bringing rape and violence? What we focus on grows. Why is it no one focuses on the notion that among those people are humans who will contribute to the United States – by means of art, music or technology. Maybe even of peacemaking? All those people can’t be bloodsucking.

Let’s focus on the amazing idea that America will be stronger and healthier because we pull together and actually take care of each other despite religious differences or our places of origin. Really. We need a grown-up to teach us basic lessons in interacting with each other. You know, a house divided and all the other adages about fear based beliefs will always be true.

Let’s be helpers.

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